SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)…
AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT
APRIL 29, 2020
PRETAPED IN NORCROSS, GA.
REPORT BY MICHAEL TAYLOR, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Chris Jericho, Tony Schiavone
-The show opened with a video package highlighting past matches between Darby Allen and Cody. Darby said he entered Fyter Fest as a nobody but made a name for himself. Cody said he had lost enough at the beginning of his career and he needed to win the TNT title. Darby said the TNT title represents corporate suits and conformity and that he represents the exact opposite of that. Cody ended the package by asking if Darby was championship material.
(Taylor’s Analysis: This was a great package to build anticipation for the match between Cody and Darby. Framing Cody as the corporate, suit-wearing conformist is an interesting choice, considering it could easily be taken as truth given his role in the company. Darby comes off as a legitimate anti-hero, while being sympathetic at the same time.)
-The camera entered the arena where Jericho and Schiavone ran down the card for the evening. The “tale of the tape” graphic was shown on the screen highlighting the differences between Darby and Cody. Darby Allen made his ring entrance, followed by Cody.
(1) DARBY ALLEN vs. CODY (w/Brandi) – TNT Title Tournament semi-final match
The bell rang, and they locked up. Cody knocked Darby down with a shoulder tackled and scored a one count. Darby stood, and they traded holds. Darby scored two quick pinfalls before attacking Cody’s knee. Both wrestlers left the ring and brawled at ringside. Cody dodged a charging Darby, causing Darby to knock Brandi into the barricade. Brandi was helped to the back, and Cody threw Darby back in the ring as the show went to commercial.
-The show returned, and Cody hit a modified gut-buster for a two count. Darby reversed a bow and arrow and scored a one count. After, Cody stood and stomped Darby in the corner. From there, Cody dropped Darby stomach-first across the top rope. After a two count, Cody cinched in a single-legged Boston crab, but Darby quickly made it to the bottom rope. Darby countered another but-buster attempt and attacked Cody’s leg with a modified leg-lock. Cody made it to the bottom rope. They quickly stood and Cody scaled the top rope. Darby knocked him to the mat and cinched in a modified leg-lock. Cody broke the hold and retreated to the outside. From behind the barricade, Britt Baker hit Cody with her shoe. Back in the ring, Darby continued to attack Cody’s leg as the show when to commercial.
-Back from the break, both wrestlers hit a double clothesline. They stood, and Cody hit a release suplex, followed by a disaster kick. Cody took off his weight-lifting belt, but the referee threw it out of the ring. The pace quickened and Darby hit the crossroads on Cody for a two count. The wrestlers outside the ring started “This is Awesome!” chant. From there, Darby cinched in a figure-four. Brandi walked out to ringside and brought Cody a bottle of water. Darby grabbed the bottle and hit Cody with it. Cody responded with a lariat. The pace quickened until Cody hit the crossroads for a two count. From there, Cody scaled the top rope and attempted the coffin drop, but Darby put his knees up. Darby quickly scaled the top rope and attempted the coffin drop, but Cody rolled him up after impact for the win. The show went to a commercial break.
WINNER: Cody via pinfall
(Taylor’s Analysis: Surprisingly, Cody wrestled most of the match as a heel. Was this to plant the seed for an eventual heel turn? His mannerisms lined up with Darby’s “corporate” claims in the opening video package. While Darby wasn’t hurt by the loss, the coffin drop should have been protected. It is a huge part of Darby’s persona and should always end the match when he hits it.)
-The show returned with a pre-taped segment highlighting Scorpio Sky. He talked about how important being a member of SCU has been to his career. He said during his match with Jericho for the AEW title, he felt like he belonged there. He said a lot of wrestlers in the AEW locker room are simply happy to be there, but he wanted to be a “f*cking legend”.
(Taylor’s Analysis: This was another great video package. Scorpio Sky came across as a main eventer and if AEW builds on this momentum, he could easily be a credible world champion in the future. He has the athleticism and the charisma to succeed in that role.)
-An MJF “injury update” aired. MJF said because of his absence, he was sure that the audience felt like “they had just entered an Uber and the foreign driver didn’t want to use the GPS for some reason”. He said he saw his “nail doctor” who told him he had not seen such a miraculous recovery before. He said his hangnail was better, but that he cut his neck shaving. MJF sarcastically said he was sad that the “injury” was going to keep him from entertaining the fans. He said he was the only hope the company had left as the segment ended.
(Taylor’s Analysis: These segments are a great way to keep MJF on weekly television. He should continue to find ways to stay away from the ring until he is forced back by a baby face that calls him out.)
-Back in the arena, Musa made his ring entrance, followed by Wardlow.
(2) MUSA vs. “MR. MAYHEM” WARDLOW
The bell rang, Wardlow quickly slammed Musa to the mat. Wardlow threw Musa around the ring before attempting a power slam. Musa broke free and hit a springboard moonsault. Wardlow caught Musa and propped him on the top rope. As Musa fell, Wardlow hit a knee to Musa’s face. From there, Wardlow hit the airplane spin slam for the win.
WINNER: Wardlow via pinfall
-Back from the break, the third installment of The Bubbly Bunch aired. Sammy and Jericho taunted each other over last week’s “flim-flam” challenge. Jericho proposed a “Manitoba Melee”. Members of the AEW roster, including the Inner Circle, pretended to hit each other through their cell phone screens. Celebrities such as Corey Taylor, Kevin Smith, and Lou Ferrigno were shown also participating in the melee. The segment ended with Jericho asking, “Was that Lou Ferrigno holding a taser?”
(Taylor’s Analysis: This was the best installment of The Bubby Bunch yet. I hope the plan is to eventually turn The Inner Circle, or at least Chris Jericho, into a babyface. These segments only make all involved more likable.)
-Back in the arena, Jimmy Havoc and Kip Sabian made their ring entrances, followed by The Best Friends.
(3) JIMMY HAVOC & KIP SABIAN (w/Penelope Ford) vs. BEST FRIENDS (w/Orange Cassidy) – No DQ match
The bell rang, and all four men brawled in the ring. Havoc and Sabian retreated to the outside where Beretta hit a diving moonsault. Havoc quickly stood and threw a steel chair into Orange Cassidy’s head. The teams continued to brawl around the ring. Havoc suplexed Taylor onto a pile of steel chairs. Havoc was about to hit Taylor with a chair, but Beretta speared him. Sabian threw Beretta into the ring and whipped him chest-first into the turnbuckle. Sabian threw a ladder in the ring. Havoc threw it into Barretta’s face and scored a two count. Sabian and Havoc doubled-teamed Beretta and attempted to cover him at the same time. Taylor returned to the ring and broke up the pinfall. Chaos ensued as all four men attacked each other with steel chairs. Eventually, Sabian threw Taylor headfirst into a chair propped in the corner. Beretta dove at Sabian with a chair and scored a two count. After, Beretta scaled the top rope, but Havoc met him and slammed him onto the ladder. Havoc propped Beretta on two chairs, and Sabian hit a diving splash for a two count.
From there, Taylor returned to the ring and hit a piledriver on Sabian onto a chair, but Penelope broke up the pinfall attempt. Orange Cassidy jumped on the apron and threw a chair at Havoc. Cassidy then scaled the top rope and dove onto Sabian and Ford. Taylor hit the awful waffle on Havoc into a pile of chairs for the win. After the match, Best Friends posed on the ring as the show went a commercial break.
WINNERS: Best Friends via pinfall
-The show returned with Brit Baker giving a tour of her dental office. Baker had a makeup artist in the office she called “Reba”. In a separate interview, Reba said her name was actually “Rebel”. Baker pulled her offset and said “Reba” had to always refer to her as “Doctor”. Baker said the fans demanded she gave them more lessons on how to be a role model. She called out people who wear glasses, fat people, and people with a snaggle tooth. With each insult, a picture of Tony Schiavone was shown on the screen. Baker said not everyone was born to be a role model and the segment ended.
(Taylor’s Analysis: Baker is so much better as a heel. She is more authentic and is genuinely dislikable. Her attacks on Tony Schiavone continue to be effective and dastardly.)
-Shawn Spears made his ring entrance with his opponent already in the ring.
(4) SHAWN SPEARS vs. BARON BLACK
-The bell rang, and they locked up. After wrestling on the mat, each wrestler stood. Spears pushed Black into the corner and chopped him. Spears started to twerk, and Black tried to take the advantage. From there, Spears hit a spine buster before hitting a flurry of strikes. From there, Spears hit a snap suplex followed by a two count. Eventually, Spears hit the C4 and then cinched in the sharpshooter for the win. The show went to a commercial break.
WINNER: Shawn Spears via pinfall
-Back from the break, Tazz analyzed Lance Archer’s finishing move, the blackout. Replays we were shown of Archer hitting the move on several members of the AEW roster.
-An interview with Marco Stunt aired. A replay of Stunt getting brutally defeated by Archer was shown. Stunt said he could take more than what he has been given. Back in the arena, Stunt made his ring entrance, followed by Brodie Lee.
(5) MARCO STUNT vs. BRODIE LEE
-The bell rang, and Lee quickly threw Stunt to the mat. The pace quickened until Lee hit a running boot. Lee chopped Stunt in the corner before throwing him across the ring. Lee left the ring, and Stunt tried to hit a suicide dive. Lee caught him, put him on the floor, and hit a standing sidekick. Stunt returned to the ring at the count of nine. Lee attempted a suplex, but Stunt landed on his feet. After attempting a dive, Lee caught Stunt and hit a sit-down powerbomb for the win.
WINNER: Brodie Lee via pinfall
(Taylor’s Analysis: Destroying Stunt was a great way to make Lee look like a dominant heel. The Vince McMahon skits need to end. This is how Lee should be used until he eventually challenges for the world title.)
-A pre-taped segment with Jon Moxley aired. Moxley thanked the fans for watching AEW during tough times. He promised they would be back together soon and they had a lot to be thankful for. He said he was thankful for his wife, and for steel chairs. Moxley said a DDT is always better on a steel chair. He said he would be live on Dynamite next week. The show went to a commercial break.
(Taylor’s Analysis: The production choices in this segment were great. Moxley was shown in a remote, rundown location. It looked like a place he might hang out to find some trouble to get in to. His message kept him established as the top babyface of the company.)
-Back from the break, Jericho and Schiavone announced matches for next week’s Dynamite. Schiavone threw to the ring. Lance Archer made his ring entrance while attacking a member of AEW security. After, Dustin Rhodes made his ring entrance.
(6) LANCE ARCHER vs. “THE NATURAL” DUSTIN RHODES (w/Brandi) – TNT Title Tournament semi-final match
The bell rang, and Archer shoved Dustin in the corner. The referee broke them up, and Archer knocked Dustin to the outside. Back in the ring, Archer charged at Dustin, but Dustin knocked him to the outside. From there, Dustin hit a cannonball moonsault. Back in the ring, Dustin attempted a power slam, but Archer blocked it. After, Archer knocked Dustin to the outside. Archer pulled a steel chair from under the ring. Dustin took the chair, but Archer kicked it into his face and busted him open. The show went to a commercial break.
-The show returned, and Archer knocked Dustin to the mat with a running clothesline. Dustin retreated to the outside. Back in the ring, Archer hit a release suplex. Archer drove Dustin’s face into the mat, leaving a large bloodstain. Dustin tried to rally, but Archer knocked him back to the mat and punished him with strikes. Archer cinched a modified armbar as the show went to a commercial break.
-Back from the break, Dustin stood and broke the armbar and hit Archer with a code red. Both men stood and traded blows until Dustin hit a running lariat. From there, Dustin hit a power slam and rallied. Dustin hit the crossroads, but Archer kicked out at one. Dustin scaled the top rope and dove, but Archer caught him and hit a chokeslam for a two count. Archer grabbed Dustin’s arm and walked the top rope before hitting a moonsault for a two count. After, Archer hit a chokeslam followed by a running boot. Archer ripped the turnbuckle pad off and slammed Dustin’s head into the turnbuckle three times. A ringside doctor tended to Dustin at ringside. Cody walked out to ringside and wouldn’t allow the doctor to stop the match. Arched slammed Dustin’s head into the mat several times in front of Cody before pinning him for the win. After the match, Archer stared at Cody as he tended to Dustin. The show went off the air with Dustin lying in a pool of blood in the ring.
WINNER: Lance Archer via pinfall.
(Taylor’s Analysis: The announcers did a great job putting Archer over as a monster. Dustin was the perfect opponent, as he knew exactly how to sell Archer’s high impact offense. The closing shot of Archer staring at Cody as he tended to his fallen brother was a great way to end the show.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: AEW is producing some of its best weekly content since its inception. The wrestlers behind the barricade do a great job adding crowd noise without acting corny. Squash matches are being implemented to perfection. The announce team of Jericho and Schiavone is effective at being entertaining while getting talent over. Most importantly, wrestlers are cast in their correct roles. There’s a consistent heel/face dynamic throughout the show, making storyline development enjoyable to watch. Succeeding like this during the COVID-19 pandemic is a great accomplishment.
RECOMMENDED: AEW DYNAMITE HITS & MISSES 4/29: Cody vs. Darby, Archer vs. Dustin, Britt Baker in dentistry office, Bubbly Bunch #3, MJF promo, Best Friends vs. Havoc & Sabian, Brodie Lee vs. Marco Stunt, Scorpio Sky